6 Smart Ways for Growing Families to Expand Their Homes


If your family has welcomed new members over there years, chances are that your home's square footage isn't cutting it anymore. Instead of looking for a bigger home and enduring the move, check out these home renovating ideas that increase the living space – whether you need it for little ones, aging parents, or in-laws.

Go outdoors, create a relaxing entertaining area

When talking about home extensions, people often focus on the bedroom, bathrooms, and other strictly utilitarian spaces. However, living space is a much broader concept that includes any space that can be used for relaxing, entertaining, working without interrupting other family members' routines. If you have a backyard with an empty space that isn't used for anything, use it to create an outdoor room. Any room you can think of on the inside has its outdoor counterpart. There are drapes, rugs, seating, tables, and even beds that are designed to be sunlight-, moisture-, and mould-resistant. A premade gazebo is a popular option for expanding outdoors, as they come in a range of styles, colours, and shapes. With water-resistant canopies, they can provide a whole extra living room set.

Rooms pulling double duty

Having rooms serve double purposes is a great way to make the most of your living space without driving a single nail. Many rooms don't necessarily need to be used only for their intended purposes. With office electronics like laptops and printers, as well as, the popularity of mobile devices, a formal dining room can double as a great study or home office. A simple futon frame and mattress combo can transform your living room into a guest bedroom within minutes, which in return frees up a rarely-used bedroom for a home theatre or office. In assigning room purposes, it's important to list your functional needs, which will inevitably change over time.

Reorganize and store your belongings

Many a poor college student remembers living in a cramped room, perfectly content with stacks of books holding the coffee table surface while a milk crate was at the same time a chair and a storage bin. The same mind set can help you save a considerable amount of space now, as well, although you don't have to use something as avant-garde as a milk crate. You'll be able to find many furniture options that can double as storage such as tables and beds with drawers, or ottomans with storage chests inside. You can even move some of your things out, into a self-storage unit. Apart from having many useful purposes, such as a gym, art studio, and music room, a self-stoppage can also hold your furniture temporarily while you’re building an addition.

Build upward to gain more space

Compared with same-level additions, in terms of value, second-story additions are more feasible when your available property is small. While most homes can structurally accept a second story, it takes much more than lopping off the roof and stacking another floor on the top. Other structural improvements are needed, and like with roof reparation or replacement projects, you need a means of reach upper levels safely. Contact a reputable spider lift hire company that operates a fleet of telescopic spider lifts that can access almost any worksite, lifting one or two construction workers with their tools. Vertical additions that add living space are known to generate insanely high ROI upon sale, however, it's an extensive project that almost always involves vacating the house for some time.

Create a bump-out

House bump-outs are a perfect option when you need more space but your budget doesn’t allow many options. After planning and assessing your budget, if you conclude that you don’t need a full addition, a bump-out might be the project you need, as it can serve a variety of purposes, from a walk-in closet to a home office. In terms of size and project scope, there are no standard rules about what makes a bump-out, but they have several things in common. First, a bump-out doesn't have to alter the exterior of the house. As a small space, it doesn't need extra heating or cooling system, and a bump-out can be completed with a separate shed style or flat roof, which is much easier than extending the existing roof structure.

Convert the basement or attic into a new room

While less popular than outward additions, basement conversions still offer plenty of space, often equal to the existing first-story square footage. Solid basement walls often need a few alterations for electrical wires, and the floor rests on solid earth, so there are no load-bearing issues there. The only problem is moisture, although there is a remedy for that as well. On the other hand, attic conversions often seem like a no-brainer, however, they often require additional structural elements. Joists will probably need strengthening, with additional sub-floor laid over. On the bright side, since the attic is just above the habitable floor, you can easily extend utilities from there.

Whether you need to accommodate new family members or senior parents who moved recently with you, any home addition is a valuable project that will increase the resale value on your home one day. However, before embarking on any of conversion or extension projects, make sure to consult a builder, as well as your local zoning orders and building codes.

By: Lilly Miller
Lilly is a graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. Based in Sydney, but world is her playground.



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